Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Jethro Tull’s A Passion Play Gets Deluxe Reissue

Jethro Tull's A Passion PLay
By 1973, prog-rock legends Jethro Tull were in the middle of an unprecedented commercial run that began with their sophomore album, 1969’s Stand Up, and culminated with the audacious, chart-topping 1972 concept album Thick As A Brick. Tull frontman Ian Anderson and his band of merry pranksters were out-selling and chart-hopping such contemporaries as Yes and Emerson, Lake & Palmer, so when they released their second consecutive full-length concept album, A Passion Play, it shot straight to the top of the charts.

Still, despite its chart success, A Passion Play remains the dark horse of the Tull catalog, an album often overshadowed by its louder and more “in your face” predecessors like Thick As A Brick and Aqualung. A brilliant hybrid of progressive rock, classical music, and British folk, A Passion Play was written and recorded in a mere nine days between tours after a disastrous experience recording at Château d'Hérouville caused the band to flee France.

A Passion Play was subsequently recorded by a band line-up that included frontman, flautist, and saxophonist Ian Anderson, guitarist Martin Barre, bassist Jeffery Hammond-Hammond, drummer Barriemore Barlow, and keyboardist John Evans. On July 1st, 2014 the album will receive a deluxe reissue as part of an enormous 2 CD/2DVD set from Rhino Records. The set will be packaged in a case-bound book which includes the original A Passion Play album on the first CD and the earlier, unreleased Château d'Hérouville sessions on CD two, both afforded a spiffy new stereo mix by Porcupine Tree’s Steven Wilson, the go-to guys with the ears that discriminating prog-rockers call on these days for their studio work.

The first DVD of the deluxe A Passion Play set features audio and video, including Wilson’s 5.1 DTS and AC3 Dolby Digital surround sound mix made from a flat transfer from the original master at PCM 96/24 stereo. It also includes video clip of “The Story of the Hare Who Lost His Spectacles.” The second DVD is audio-only and includes the Château d'Hérouville sessions mixed to 5.1 DTS and AC3 Dolby Digital surround sound and PCM 96/24 stereo.

The book included with the set includes an extensive article by Martin Webb on the making of the album and the Château d'Hérouville sessions, Steven Wilson’s thoughts on mixing the recordings, and much more. For vinyl fans, a heavyweight 180-gram vinyl album featuring the new stereo mix of A Passion Play will also be available. We have the tracklist of the two CDs in the set below.

Disc One: A Passion Play
1. Lifebeats/Prelude
2. The Silver Cord
3. Re-Assuring Tune  
4. Memory Bank
5. Best Friends                 
6. Critique Oblique           
7. Forest Dance #1
8. The Story of the Hare Who Lost His Spectacles
9. Forest Dance #2
10. The Foot of Our Stairs *      
11. Overseer Overture
12. Flight From Lucifer     
13. 10.08 To Paddington     
14. Magus Perde
15. Epilogue

* Two extra verses found on the end of the multi-track reel have been added back in    

Disc Two: The Château d'Hérouville Sessions
1. The Big Top
2. Scenario
3. Audition
4. Skating Away
5. Sailor
6. No Rehearsal
7. Left Right
8. Solitaire
9. Critique Oblique (Part I)
10. Critique Oblique (Part II)
11. Animelee (1st Dance) [instrumental]
12. Animelee (2nd Dance) [instrumental]
13. Law of the Bungle (Part I)
14. Tiger
15. Law of the Bungle (Part II)

Buy the album from Jethro Tull's A Passion Play (deluxe)

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